5 great benefits of a family run business

When setting up your own business, you can take heart that it could not only be operated with help from family members but even significantly outlast all of you. If the latter indeed happens, your company could continue with its founding ethos due to being run by your descendents or other family members. However, this only starts explaining the key appeal of starting and running a family business. Here are 5 other powerful reasons to keep your business firmly at your family’s fingertips.

Shared values

As nibusinessinfo.co.uk explains, “you and your family are likely to share the same ethos and beliefs on how things should be done”. This, in turn, can fuel your pride and sense of purpose as a businessperson. As further explained on BusinessZone: “When family members understand the history and the emotion of the company, customers can get a sense of this too.” The abundant time that family members spend together allows values to be spread thoroughly within the group.

Strong commitment

There are particular things that you are likely willing to do for your family but not necessarily other people – including, possibly, close friends. This attitude of “going the extra mile” for your family has clear advantages in a corporate setting. For instance, you could be up for working extra hours or, quite simply, exerting more effort in your drive to make the company successful. Furthermore, your family is especially likely to be accommodating should you request more flexible working hours.

Loyalty

As you start running your business, you should remember that some difficult times could occasionally arise. For those times, a determination to stick in there and weather the storm can obviously serve you well. Showing this kind of determination can come more naturally when you are working with your family, with which you can have strong personal ties.

Nonetheless, don’t allow your loyalty to your family to become so strong that you overlook suitable opportunities to outsource certain responsibilities. If, for instance, hard-to-reach parts of your business building need cleaning, you could turn to SAS Rope and Rail, an industrial abseiling specialist. They could complete the job for you in a way that is both safe and effective.

Long-term stability

Knowing that your business could keep passing through successive future generations encourages you to apply long-term thinking. This kind of thinking is essential for growing the company. However, watch out for, and do your best to prevent, an excessive rigidity that could prevent the firm reacting sufficiently speedily to a changing business environment.

Cost-cutting can be easier

When things get financially challenging, there could be a need for some sacrifices – and your family could be more willing to make them than other people to whom you are not related. Perhaps your brother might settle for a smaller wage packet than would be available elsewhere; alternatively, your son could be content to defer receiving their payout should a cash flow crisis hit. When recruiting only close family members, you might even be able to avoid employers’ liability insurance.

8 Top Timeless Website Principles

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As technology is something that moves at such a rapid rate, it may be strange to think about web design as being timeless. And while there is no doubt that new trends are coming in all the time, the overall aims of your website will remain the same. Probably top of the list is informing people about what your business actually does in the first place.

Even if you are not building the website yourself, you should still be playing an active role in shaping and deciding what the finished product will actually look like whether you are working with a single developer or a company like rouge-media.com. After all, this will end up acting as the shop window of your business and is the place that all new and potential clients will visit at some point down the line. That is why it is useful that you are aware of some timeless website design principles so you are in a good position to create a website that stands the test of time.

Clear Content

You can have the fanciest looking website in the world packed with innovative design features, but if it is not clear what exactly your company does, people are not likely to stick around to find out. Try to use short, sharp sentences that get your core messages across as quickly as possible. The most commonly used device to access the internet is now the mobile phone, so getting your message across using a limited number of words becomes even more important. Once you have grabbed people’s attention, they are more likely to read on and find out what else you have to say. Support any written content with some strong imagery and videos so that you are covering all bases. You should also make sure all your pages have a clear call to action so people know exactly how to get in contact with you if they are looking for further information.

Easy-to-Use Navigation

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Though website navigation principles are always changing, you want to make sure that it is easy for people to find their way around your site. One of the most common ideas that is used these days is having multiple ways to get around; as well as the top menu, there are other stand-alone buttons that allow people to easily access the most important parts of the site. Keep all the names of the pages as straightforward and general as possible so visitors can find exactly what they are looking for. A good idea is to have a few different people trial your website to see how easily they can work their way through it. Give them specific bits of information to find and see how long it takes them to get there.

Personalisation

You should make sure that the website that you end up creating is completely personal to your business. Once you have established your branding, logo and colour scheme, you should ensure that it is used throughout your website. Rather than going for generic stock imagery, you could have your own taken by a professional photographer to add a personal touch. Have a page on the site that tells your story and the reasons that you decided to establish a business in the first place. Establish a tone of voice that is unique to your business. People tend to prefer websites that instantly put them at ease and make them feel comfortable. Even if you decide to update your website over time as design trends change, make sure not to lose the personal touch that could make you stand apart from your competitors.

Interactivity

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Nowadays, people visit websites so that they are able to interact with businesses. The easier they are able to do this, the more likely it is that you can open up a dialogue with them to encourage customer loyalty. Obviously, you will have your email address and phone number clearly on display, but many websites now have an instant chat feature so people don’t have to wait to get their questions answered. Your website should also be closely linked to your social media accounts, which is one of the best ways of encouraging interaction from your customers. As well as this, you should also have a blog page where you regularly post interesting articles about your business and the industry as a whole. Underneath, you can have a comments section where people can react to your articles. Remember to reply to each one individually as another way of showing that you really care what your customers have to say.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

One of the top timeless principles of creating a website is making sure that it is designed with search engine optimisation (SEO) firmly in mind. You may have an expertly designed website that does everything you want it to, but if nobody is able to find it, it won’t do you a whole lot of good. Making sure the content is clear, readable and has a focus on keywords should be one of your top priorities. We have already talked about having a blog page on your site, but this is so important so that you keep your site updated with the fresh content that search engines have been shown to react well to. You should also have a link building strategy in place, making sure that you continually work to get links back to your site from other reputable websites. With so many different SEO agencies out there these days, it makes sense to consult with one of them to get a full picture of what you need to be doing.

Colour Scheme

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Though what constitutes a strong colour scheme changes over time, there is no doubt that this has a major impact on the overall user experience. For example, colours that are complementary create a sense of balance and harmony. One of the top enduring principles is to make sure that you use contrasting colours for the text and background. This will make it much easier on the eye and won’t force people to work hard to read what is actually on the page. Colours that are more vibrant and eye-catching tend to be very emotive for people, so they shouldn’t be overused as this can make the overall user experience too overwhelming. Finally, making use of white or negative space is a major factor in helping your site to look modern and uncluttered.

Site Layout

The actual layout of a website is something that is always changing and adapting as design trends move in and out of popularity. But one particular layout that has shown itself to be timeless is the grid based system. If you spread your content in a random fashion all over the page, it is much harder for people to take it all in. A grid based approach is much more logical, arranging the content clearly into sections, columns and boxes that have a sense of balance. Whatever type of layout you eventually decide on, it is worth remembering the “F” pattern design rule. If you have never heard of this before, you are certainly not alone. Various studies have been conducted that clearly demonstrate that people tend to scan over a computer screen in a clear F pattern. The top and left of the screen tends to be what people pay attention to, while the right of the screen is not looked at as often. Instead of forcing the visual flow, a well designed website will capitalise on the natural behaviour of the user.

An Adaptive Website

In recent times, more and more people are using a range of different devices to access the internet. That is why it is so important that you have a site that is easy to use regardless of what device it is being accessed on. Most website development agencies will advise you about creating a site that is accessible on other devices, but you need to work out whether you would prefer a responsive website or one that has been specifically designed for mobiles. It all comes down to the overall functionality of your site and what its main purpose is.

These are just a few of the main things to focus on when it comes to creating your website. Remember, it is ultimately going to be hugely important to your business for as long as it runs, so getting these principles right to begin with will set you down the path to success. Over time, website design principles will continue to change and adapt, but you should never lose sight of what the main aims of your site are. The best websites are easy to use, but they are also constantly changing so people are encouraged to come back time and time again. Whenever your site is going through some changes, make sure you are totally happy with how this will affect the overall user experience.

Boss Baby: Staying Motivated When Working From Home

Being a mum is probably the toughest job in the world. It’s underpaid, it has long hours and there’s never a decent enough break. When you add a job on top of your duties as a mother, you’ve just about broken the mould on how much you can stretch yourself as a person. As a woman, the working world is a dog fight. You’re constantly fighting to stay on top, better yourself in business and stay balanced with your home life. This is where working from home is a Godsend.

Photo credit: David Mulder

So much of the world is turning to technology, as it’s open 24/7. This encourages more flexible working and remote opportunities for working around your family. Working from home gives you a freedom that the four walls of the office do not. If you have a family and you want to switch to freelancing, you may find that you need to get yourself further educated to be able to do so. Having young children can be unpredictable, but the yearning for a career, earnings and a sense of self is so strong for some women.

Before you make the decision to change careers, or further yourself in the job you already do, think about the steps you need to take to get there. If your current job doesn’t offer you the opportunity to further your knowledge or work from home, you need to take your destiny into your own hands. Go online with Maryville University and top up your qualifications. Take that refresher into the working world and pad your CV with everything you’ve learned. Then, find the role you always dreamed of and make it what you can from home. It doesn’t have to be difficult to leave your new baby, when you can work from your own home.

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Motivation is the biggest stickler when you don’t have to turn up at an office. You still need to earn a wage, so while the office hours aren’t as fixed, you still need to carve out time in your day that you dedicate purely for your job. Just because you work from your dining room, doesn’t mean you should pretend that you have a day off. Staying motivated is more than just clocking in and out remotely with your boss. It’s getting up and getting dressed so you feel ready for your day. Dress as you would for work, albeit a little more casually, so that you can feel empowered to complete your tasks efficiently.

If you are able to, use a spare room as an office. You may not have a long commute, but you still need to separate your home life with your work life. The two may blend occasionally but if you can avoid it, do so. You’re a working mother, and there will be some moments when you’re balancing a baby while trying to send an email, but this shouldn’t be a very regular occurrence. Having a separate space can give you a concentration you wouldn’t find on the couch.

Being a Mumpreneur is all about staying motivated and while it isn’t always plain sailing, you can make it happen.

 

Foolproof And Not Aloof! Tricks For Working With Remote Staff

As many working parents will understand, juggling a job and a child is not just two jobs, it’s more like seven! You need a lot of time to raise your child, and if you are running a business concurrently, it can feel like you’re splitting your parenting duties between the two. It’s no surprise then that many people opt to run their businesses from their own home so they can kill two birds with one stone. There are definite advantages on a personal level to doing this, but you also need to find the right methods of leadership that encourage maximum productivity, from your staff as well as from yourself! Remote working isn’t easy from either perspective, so here is how you can ease the stress.

Outsourcing

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As a blanket term, getting additional help when it’s possible will be the lifesaver you need. Whether you are overseeing a small team, or you are struggling to manage a team of 60, all working remotely, outsourcing certain tasks to others, either through freelance sites or hiring someone on a part-time basis, will ease the pressure. A virtual assistant is one such job that many remote workers use because of the reduction in workload and the ability to set deadlines for certain tasks, all done in the comfort of your own home.

Utilize The Right Resources

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If the same queries with your staff members crop up again and again, to save time in giving the answer, creating a process bible or book of rules that is comprehensive and easy to follow will help you out, but it will also result in fewer mistakes from your staff. If you are managing a team of bloggers, making sure they are using sources that meet your approval will increase quality and quantity. It doesn’t have to be a bible you’ve created yourself, there could be useful online resources too. A site like Blogging.com, for example, can help your writers in every aspect of the blogging process. As long as the resources are clear and easy to follow, it will result in a lot less time wasted.

Communicate Properly

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Running a business remotely is going to test your skills in so many ways, and if your communication channels are not the best, your patience will be tested too. Every business has its own method of communicating with their employees, whether it is a daily or weekly email, or regular conference calls, only you can decide what the best method is. But if you don’t see the results you need, you have to look at, firstly, whether your communication channels are right for the work, and secondly, if you are communicating yourself effectively. Do you need to speak to people on a one-to-one basis regularly? If so, is an email conversation the best method? Maybe a phone conversation in the morning will clear up any issues from the previous day and avoid a lot of emails. Even if you don’t have the funds, you can use online hangout tools to quickly chat to someone.

12 Tips On Buying A Business From Industry Experts

If you’re considering buying a business in an effort to make a lot of money, there are a thousand different things you should think about before you part with the cash. If you want to know what other industry experts recommend, here are 12 tips you can use to get buying a business right!

Do A Thorough Investigation

The first thing you need to do is a thorough investigation on the business you’re thinking of buying. Make sure you research past activities, as well as things like the operation, current status, and any other relevant things. It’s important you look at the competition, industry, future potential, and anything else that could impact whether you should buy this business or not. You have lots to research when starting a business from scratch, but it’s a little easier to research these things when buying an existing business.

Photo credit: bene

Look At The Infrastructure

Make sure you look at the infrastructure of the business as it currently stands. Make sure you look at the customers, suppliers, and employees. This will benefit you and help you to put a focus on building the business and making it better, rather than starting from scratch.

Flexible Negotiating

When it comes to business buying, flexible negotiating is a benefit. Everything from purchase price to financing is open to negotiation, and you have a great number of options to consider.

Don’t agree on the first price you are quoted; make sure you practice your negotiation skills. Just be sure you don’t make an offensive offer or do anything insulting!

Using A Business Broker

If you’re wondering how to buy a business, a business broker can be a big help. A business broker is somebody who puts buyers and sellers together. However, business brokers can vary depending on their individual training and specialty. As their area of expertise can differ, some are independent and some can work in a company. Make sure you research, narrow the search and find a business that fits your criteria. Ensure you explain strengths, weaknesses, and objectives clearly to the broker so they can find a great fit for you.

Valuing A Business

You don’t want to overpay when buying a business; it’s probably one of the scariest parts of purchasing a business. That being said, you don’t need to be an appraisals expert to get the price right. The truth is, this is completely subjective to the person buying the business and how much they want it. Remember that a good business will justify the purchase price every time!

The Importance Of Insurance

Never underestimate the importance of insurance when buying a business. You must have insurance to comfortably grow and develop your business, so ensure you do your research on the different policies available, and don’t just go for the cheapest one.

Understand Any Tax Implications

Your system could be very different to the previous owner, so don’t assume that you’ll be using the same one as them. A great accountant can advise you, so make sure this is the first thing you look for when buying a business. Staying on top of taxes and other financial things is crucial to your success. Make sure you do a background check on any unpaid taxes before you put your money down too!

Creating A Great Business Plan

Just because you’re not starting from scratch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a business plan. Make sure you think about why you want the business and what you think you can do with it, and you should be able to put together an effective plan. It isn’t the most exciting part of starting a business, but it’s crucial.  

Never Be Afraid To Withdraw Your Offer

This is a huge financial decision, so don’t be afraid to change your mind if things stop adding up. You can withdraw your offer any time before you sign on the dotted line!

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Don’t Rush To Transform The Business

It’s normal to want to start putting your own stamp on things straight away, but you really shouldn’t rush to ‘transform’ the business to quickly. Ideally, you should take a few months to observe the way things are working from the inside, making a note of any strengths and weaknesses. Then you can begin to make any changes you believe to be necessary. After all, the business has survived so far without you, and managed to attract you as a buyer!

Know Exactly What’s Included

It’s important that you make no assumptions when buying a business, and you know exactly what’s included in the asking price. Will you get office furniture? Fixtures and fittings? Make a full inventory, and then make a list of the things that should be included in the price. Ask the seller to sign off on these in your contract, so that there can be no disputes and no going back.

Expect The Unexpected

It’s important as an entrepreneur that you expect the unexpected. Something will likely go wrong somewhere along the line, so don’t worry and don’t panic if it does. Stash away cash to pay for emergencies right from the beginning, and make sure you attempt to pre-empt anything that could go wrong too so you have a little idea of what you can do to improve things. The only other things you can do is take some deep breaths and ensure you have the ability to move on from unexpected things. Success isn’t always linear, so remember that!

Hopefully, these 12 tips on buying a business from industry experts have opened your eyes a little. If you feel that you and another business are a good fit, and you’re excited and passionate about the prospect of running it in spite of the things that could go wrong and the risks you must take, it might just be a good step for you! The key is to avoid focusing too much on the things that could go wrong, and instead focus on the things that could go right!

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